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For sufferers of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain, an all-too-common disorder, a proper diagnosis is the first step toward relief - that's where we can help. The words "TMJ Disorder" are often a catch-all term used to describe dysfunction of the jaw muscles and joints. It can be as minor as slight clicking or popping sensations when the mouth is opened and closed, or as serious a persistent pain extending into the face, neck and shoulders affecting posture and even mobility.
The temporomandibular joints connect the jaw bone to the skull and are located just in front of each ear. They are sliding "ball and socket" joints and dependent upon proper alignment to work smoothly. These are also the most complex and frequently-used joints in your body, cycling over 2,000 times per day. You can feel the joints work by placing your fingers on them while opening and closing your mouth.
Signs of TMJ DisorderWhen the joints are not working properly, you may experience any of these symptoms:
Pronounced noises associated with movement in the TM joints (clicking, popping or crunching)
Pain when the jaw is opened fully
Limited range of opening
Clenching or grinding teeth
Facial pain and sense of facial muscle fatiguep>
Facial pain and sense of facial muscle fatigue
Ear pain not related to ear infections
Occasional "locking" when the jaw seems to "stick open" temporarily
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)